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Bed Bugs Infesting Carpet

creepy-crawly bed bugsHave you ever gone to a house to do an estimate for new flooring and detected an odor of insecticide? And maybe the carpet doesn’t look all that worn or old? The combination of the 2 might mean there were bed bugs in the carpet. Some home owners (or hotel/motel/rental managers) may be embarrassed to mention it, but don’t hesitate to bring the subject up. Read More

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Testing Moisture in Concrete

The Layman’s Guide to Testing Moisture In Concrete

by Charles Milledge
Some days I think I spend about half of my work day answering questions about concrete moisture and test procedures.

Anhydrous Calcium Chloride Moisture Vapor Testing – The CaCl Test

ASTM – F1869-11 Standard Test Method for Measuring Moisture Vapor Emission Rate of Concrete Subfloor using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride is the guide that needs to be followed to correctly set a CaCl test. Here are the boiled down basics for doing this correctly. Read More

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Plywood Underlayment Direction

Impact of Plywood Underlayment Direction¹

By Frank Woeste and Peter Nielsen

Beginning in 2007, the TCA Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation listed in bold print the following requirement for two-layer wood sheathing installation methods:

  • face grain of plywood shall run perpendicular to joists for maximum stiffness.

Should the tile contractor or other interested parties be concerned whether or not the plywood underlayment runs perpendicular to the joists? Read More

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The Decline of Carpet

The decline in carpet is due to one thing and one thing only: Poor quality.

Our industry has killed itself by selling products designed to meet a price point over tangible performance. The worthless warranties and those who sell them are only nails in the coffin.

The increase in hard surface sales IS NOT because people like living on hard surfaces and IT’S NOT about indoor air quality. Read More

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Dilemma of Flooring Choices

The Dilemma of Appropriate Flooring Choices

Home-ownership comes with many decisions – flooring being one of the most important. Like roofing, flooring is a requirement for Western Living Standards. So many choices on the market make it a daunting task for the homeowner. Oftentimes choice is based on trends instead of what is needed. The aesthetics, or “look” of the floor outweigh the importance of the material chosen.

Flooring decisions need to be made based on several factors, not just “the look.” Too many times a homeowner’s disappointment with a floor has nothing to do with the flooring, but everything to do with personal expectations. Read More

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Glossary of Tile Terminology

The Most Comprehensive Glossary of Ceramic & Stone Tile Terminology Online

Although this may be the most comprehensive list of tile terminology you can find, it is by no means complete. Glossaries and tile articles from around the Internet have been researched to compile this list and it is an ongoing project. If you know a term related to ceramic or stone tile that is not listed here, please use the comment form to add it. In return, we will link to your professional flooring related website. You might also spot a mistake in our glossary, or feel additional information should be provided. Please use the comment form below to inform us so we can continue to make this the finest place for flooring information on the web. Read More

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Patterned Carpet On Stairs

An interesting question from a member came up on The Floor Pro Community forums (it happens all the time) and deserves a detailed answer. First, the question paraphrased:

I got into a discussion with a designer about running matches in patterned carpet on steps. She said the pattern should be in the same spot on each step. The designer suggested that every installer should know this. My belief is, if the carpet is left in a continuous piece, the pattern matches, but if cut to align a pattern on each step, the run of the carpet will not match. Which way is the right way?

While the customer is not always correct, they do deserve to have things done to fit their desire or definition of correct despite whether we believe it to be obtuse or ugly. That being said, in terms of design there are several factors to consider. Read More

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Where Are The Installation Instructions?

Forum DiscussionRecently, a topic on The Floor Pro Community forums was started, seeking installation information and tips about a specific product sold by a popular flooring franchise. I searched several of the franchise websites and pages looking for actual installation instructions for the product. I found nothing more than marketspeak – no instructions. I called their corporate offices and, after being shuffled around a little, spoke to a woman who didn’t seem to understand the concept of a website that offers support to flooring professionals, consumers and DIYers. She seemed confused about our desire to provide links to installation instructions.

This is discouraging. I feel like I have totally failed in the mission of The Floor Pro Community. I understand that many people and organizations haven’t heard of us. To not even understand that vital information, like installation instructions, should be easily available just baffles me. Read More

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The Formula for Profiting On In-House Labor

This covers an aspect of business I have not heard much on around the various flooring sites. Perhaps you have and you may find this repetitive or boring. If so, my apologies. However, for those who have not, the point I hope to share comes from a pivotal point in my wife’s and my business becoming truly profitable. So here goes…

It would be easy to say the best formula for profit margins is to always have our income exceed our out-go. That’s really silly, it’s like saying the best way to avoid accidents is to not have them. You might need to read that sentence again. I know, it’s an obvious point. The problem is, doing the obvious is not always as easy as identifying it. Read More

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VALUE – Where is it Found in Installation

For years the term value has been bandied about throughout the flooring industry, but when it comes to excellent installation where is the value?

Until recently the real value associated with installation of flooring products has only received lip-service from retailers trying to close a sale by consoling customers who’ve previously felt the sting of poorly installed products.

“Will it wrinkle, bubble . . . what happens if it starts to come up?” These are only some of the questions asked by concerned customers at the point of sale. Generally, the salesperson will answer, “Oh, our installers are the best and we provide full warranty.” However, being the best is not always reflected in an installer’s pay. Moreover, why would a salesperson say their installers are the best then go on to undo that thought by mentioning full warranty in the same sentence? Read More

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Cement Boards Over a Slab

Using Cement Boards Over Concrete Slab Construction

It seems that ceramic tile installation has an abundance of myths that pop up all too frequently regarding Do-It-Yourselfers on “help forums” and DIY websites. So-called tile experts offer advice and opinions based on, well… I’m not sure what some of the comments are based on or where some people get their (mis)information to tell you the truth. I want to address the subject of installing cement board products over a concrete substrate.

It is imagined by some that products like Durock, Hardibacker and others can be used to fix imperfections in the surface of concrete or to override a previously painted or sealed concrete surface. Installing tile over painted or sealed surfaces is usually not good practice. Read More

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Ceramic & Stone Tile Underlayments

Of the entire inventory of floor covering products on today’s market, ceramic and stone tiles probably lend themselves more to do-it-yourself home improvement projects than almost any other flooring product but there are rules and special underlayments required to insure a proper and lasting installation.

Tile in its elementary form is easy to install. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it, however if you research installing ceramic tile you will find that the techniques are many and there are in fact absolute rules that should be followed to insure a suitable return on your investment. Read More

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Concrete Control Joints & Cracks

The Behavior of Concrete Slabs With Control Joints and Cracks
by A. Kester

A lot of architects, contractors, and even engineers, do not have a good understanding on the behavior of concrete slabs-on-ground (SOG). I am just one structural engineer and these are my thoughts based on my research and experience. I have worked with concrete slab construction my entire career, and have done a lot of investigations of cracks and settlement damage to SOG, and have a pretty good general understanding of them. This is a review of the subject and I hope it helps people in the flooring industry in dealing with different types of slabs with control joints and cracks. Read More

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FLOORING: An Industry In Crisis

In The Beginning…

The snake eats itselfThroughout history various industries have encountered crisis for one reason or another. It is as inexorable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, and was generally considered a byproduct of business brought about by its cyclical nature. However, history provides no better example of self-inflicted crisis than the floor covering industry. The snake eats itself.

In order to understand how the flooring industry has arrived at its current state one must examine the cause and affect factors that brought it to this point, so let’s go back to the beginning relative to this point. Read More

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Tile Over Vinyl Flooring

Ceramic & Stone Tile Over Vinyl Flooring
A Raging and On-going Controversy in the Flooring Community

In The Old Days…

Back in the early days of the first home improvement Advice Forums for Do-It-Yourselfers on the Internet, less than a decade ago, it didn’t take long to find out that if you were to choose a subject such as this (ceramic or stone tile over vinyl) and rub two tile installers together you could in no-time create fire. If not a raging flaming beast of a fire then at least plenty of smoke. This type of fire and smoke is hard to extinguish because in the minds of some long-time installers, for them to follow this advice would mean changing everything they had been taught by their mentors and fathers and grandfathers and godfathers. For some, these methods mean change and we all know how humans resist change. So, for this reason, this is not directed at any of the long-time professional installers in the flooring community. No sir, instead it is directed toward the Do-It-Yourselfer that is seeking sound advice from an experienced installer that has (trust me) “been there, done that”. You will find this ongoing argument everywhere on the help forums that you go to seek advice. Read More